Chicken Braised with Beer and Onions

A carbonnade is a Belgian beef stew made with beer and onions, but this version is lightened up with chicken thighs.

It’s a one-pan, fast and kid-friendly weekday meal.

Chicken Braised with Beer and Onions

Serves 4

  • 6-8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs (figure 2 per adult, 1 per child)
  • 3/8 teaspoon allspice
  • 1 tablespoon canola or vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 2-3 onions, sliced thinly
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 bottle dark beer
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 4 small bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1-2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon parsley, chopped (optional garnish)

1. Sprinkle the chicken thighs with salt, pepper and the allspice. In a large skillet pan, add the oil and brown the chicken thighs. About 5 minutes. 

2. Remove thighs, transfer to a plate, and add butter, onions and brown sugar to the same pan. Cover and sauté until golden brown. Stir occasionally to keep the onions from burning. 

3. Deglaze the pan with the beer and chicken broth, then add the mustard and bay leaves and allow to boil for about 10 minutes to reduce the sauce. Add the chicken back to the pan and reduce to a simmer. It will take about 10 more minutes for the chicken to cook through. Add 1 teaspoon of the vinegar and taste. I like a little snap in my dish, so I add a second teaspoon of vinegar.  

4. Season with salt and pepper and if your kids aren’t green-adverse, sprinkle with a little parsley. Serve over egg noodles.


Complete the meal: Serve with a big salad and some bread to sop up the sauce, plus a nice Belgian beer, and you’ve got dinner.